By Monique Friedlander For Daily Mail Australia
Published: 22:03 GMT, 10 February 2020 | Updated: 22:03 GMT, 10 February 2020
Heston Blumenthal has been axed from his long-held guest judging role on MasterChef this year amid reports a restaurant backed by the chef underpaid its staff millions of dollars.
Channel 10 confirmed the news on Monday, telling the Herald Sun: 'Heston has been a long-time member of the MasterChef Australia family, but he will not be appearing in the upcoming season.'
'Season 12 of MasterChef Australia is currently in production, and we look forward to showing viewers our amazing new judges and an incredible cast later in the year on 10,' the spokesman said.
Another familiar face axed: Heston Blumenthal (pictured) has been AXED from MasterChef this year amid the chef-backed restaurant's recent $4.5 million underpayment scandal
Channel 10 did not provide a reason for Heston's removal, however.
Heston is the latest MasterChef regular to be removed from the program this year, after Channel 10 sensationally axed it's well-known hosts George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston.
Instead, the show will now be fronted by Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen.
New lineup: Heston is the latest MasterChef regular to be removed from the program this year, after Channel 10 sensationally axed it's well-known hosts George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston
Liquidation: Dinner by Heston (pictured), which overlooks the Yarra River at Melbourne's Southbank precinct, appointed provisional liquidators late last year
It comes a week after news broke that fine dining restaurant, Dinner By Heston, owes its workers $4.5million after years of underpayment.
Dinner By Heston is located at the Crown complex in Melbourne and